New Zealand Books for New Zealand Students: The Portrayal of Children’s “Own Worlds” within the 1963 Ready to Read Instructional Reading Series
- Bookbird: A Journal of International Children's Literature
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 54, Number 3, 2016
- pp. 19-27
- Additional Information
The Ready to Read series is an instructional reading series for young students provided free to schools by the New Zealand Ministry of Education. Established in 1963, the series was innovative in that it was based on the theory that students best learn to read by reading meaningful stories that are relevant to their lives. The vision of New Zealand materials for New Zealand students was of particular significance for young readers because in the 1960s there were almost no New Zealand picture books. The books that were available provided very much a Northern Hemisphere view of the world. The Ready to Read materials offered, for many children in the 1960s, their first opportunity to read about themselves. This article explores the portrayal of New Zealand children’s “own worlds” within the 1963 Ready to Read series. It is part of a larger piece of research into the early years of the Ready to Read series (1963–1988) as New Zealand children’s literature.